Re: Schools, hospitals should reconsider Wi-fi stance (Letters, June 15)
I would like to add the perspective that is missing from Norm Ryder’s point of view. First the information in the WHO news release to which he refers will not be published for detailed review until July. Before we jump to conclusions and interrupt progressive change, the research should be reviewed and further conclusions made by other researching bodies.
He is correct that the IARC has increased its rating for electromagnetic field exposure from cellular phone and other wireless telecom devices to 2B from, I believe, 3. However he draws a conclusion from this article that cellular use (and Wi-fi by association) is unsafe and requests that plans by Greater Victoria school district, VIHA, and B.C. Hydro should be scrapped in order to follow what he calls “the precautionary principle.”
The WHO article is clear that enough evidence is present through its research into hundreds of publications, over multiple years, to upgrade the rating to “possibly carcinogenic to humans” from a previously inconclusive rating.
The article also suggests the evidence is limited for glioma and neuroma and inadequate to draw conclusions about other cancers. Further they explain that no probability has been calculated and instead point to one of hundreds of articles from 2004 suggesting a 40 per cent increase in risk. There is enough evidence to put the use of mobile phones on the watch list, but that is far from saying they are unsafe.
Lastly Mr. Ryder makes the statement: “Why are they (the public organizations mentioned) promoting the use of a technology that has a strong probability of causing harm?” If you read the article in question you will quickly understand this statement to be false.
I agree that we need to keep an eye on this issue and determine, objectively, whether wireless EMF is causing us or our children harm. Until then, let’s not let this resistance to change hinder growth, education, and quality of life within our community.